What is High Blood Pressure and How to Manage it?By Sunway Medical Centre | May 31 2023
Your body’s circulatory system is critical to your overall physical health. Organs require a steady supply of blood to provide them with oxygen and nutrients to function. Our hearts pump constantly to create a pressure that pushes blood through our arteries, veins, and capillaries. This is known as a person’s blood pressure reading.
When blood pressure levels get too high, it can have negative effects on our body and increases the risk of serious health problems. This condition is known as high blood pressure, or hypertension, and affects millions worldwide. Here’s a brief look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment methods for hypertension.
Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” as it may have almost no noticeable symptoms in the initial stages. Patients may seem otherwise normal even as their blood pressure reaches unhealthy levels. People with extremely high blood pressures may experience headaches, chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and vision problems. If you notice any of these symptoms it is advisable to seek medical evaluation immediately.
The best way to catch hypertension before it reaches the later stages is via routine tests conducted at a clinic. Blood pressure monitoring is a staple of health screenings and even routine medical checkups.
Learn More: A Comprehensive Guide To Health Screenings
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Different factors can contribute to the development of high blood pressure in an individual. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, poor diets, obesity, and excessive salt consumption all increase the risk of getting hypertension. Stress from work or home life can be included as a cause as well.
Age is another factor which can lead to an increased blood pressure as blood vessels tend to thicken over time. Hence older people are more likely to have high blood pressure levels. Family history and genetics is another important yet unavoidable factor as some individuals are predisposed to have high blood pressure levels.
Certain underlying medical conditions including chronic kidney disease, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, and thyroid problems can play a part in higher blood pressure levels. Medications like antidepressants, nasal decongestants, hormonal birth control pills, and anti-inflammatory drugs can also contribute to high blood pressure.
Diagnosis of high blood pressure is fairly straightforward and involves using an arm cuff to measure both your systolic and diastolic pressure. This can be done during a visit to the doctor.
A reading above 130mmHg for systolic pressure or above 80mmHG for diastolic pressure is considered to be stage 1 hypertension or higher.
Adopting positive lifestyle changes is usually the first course of treatment for patients with high blood pressure. These changes can be in the form of dietary modifications, losing excess weight, engaging in physical activity, smoking cessation, and stress reduction.
If lifestyle alterations are not enough to reduce blood pressure levels, then medications may be prescribed. These medications work in various ways such as relaxing blood vessels, reducing fluid buildup, or decreasing the heart’s workload. It is essential to follow the prescribed medication regimen and consult a healthcare professional before making any changes.
Lastly, an important part of managing hypertension comes down to regular monitoring and tracking a patient’s progress. This allows physicians to make adjustments to a patient’s treatment protocol and recommend lifestyle changes. Potential complications can also be identified easily which can reduce the risk of developing other diseases. Patients with hypertension should make regular appointments with a physician to ensure that they are receiving the care they require to optimally manage their overall health.
High blood pressure is a highly prevalent disease that requires proper management. It is also treatable and preventable if the right steps are taken. If left untreated, hypertension can have extremely serious consequences. By understanding how it develops, what the warning signs are, and how they can lower the risk of high blood pressure, patients can better protect themselves and live healthier lives.
Sunway Medical Centre in Singapore is committed to excellent patient care and we offer a suite of services that include chronic disease management and occupational medicine. Contact us today to learn more about our services and make an appointment with our team.